College of Communication > Faculty & Staff > Faculty Focus > Kay Yoon on Organizational and Multicultural Communication

Kay Yoon on Organizational and Multicultural Communication


"My goal as a teacher is to help students become successful participants and/or leaders in a variety of collaborative processes in their professional lives. To that end, I make conscious efforts to facilitate students’ learning by blending discipline-specific theoretical frameworks with practical applications to their own experiences and observations."
- Kay Yoon

Prof. Yoon served as the chair of the (former) Organizational and Multicultural Communication program until 2016.

On the MA in Organizational and Multicultural Communication Program

The Organizational and Multicultural Communication (former) program offers students the unique educational training to succeed in the contemporary workplace. With the recognition that many organizational operations take place across geographical, temporal, and cultural boundaries, our program pays special attention to training our students to become successful members of their workplace in the culturally diverse environment. The oral, written, conceptual, and applied skills fostered in the program translate across a broad scope of professional fields, employment opportunities, and career trajectories. Our program covers a variety of topic areas including organizational leadership, assessment and intervention, diversity training, organizational culture, training and development, language and power, cultural and organizational identity, globalization, critical theory, and rhetorical criticism.

On the Type of Student Organizational and Multicultural Communication Seeks

Our program is seeking students who embrace the ever-shifting world we live in. We seek intellectual leaders who see unpredictability as an opportunity, rather than something to shy away from. The types of students who are most likely to succeed in our program are those who are open-minded to a variety of theoretical and methodological traditions and who understand that personal and professional success is rooted in critical thinking, innovation, leadership, and collaboration. We also seek students who strive for Vincentian values of social justice.

Why our Program is a Unique Place to Study Organizational and Multicultural Communication

The program uniquely prepares our students with the breadth and depth of qualities most desirable to employers, merging theoretical sophistication with applied competence. By focusing on leadership, team processes, critical thinking, and creativity in their course work and independent projects, our graduates acquire the tools, credentials, and experience necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex and uncertain global job market.

Our program offers a range of learning approaches, blending small group discussion, lecture and independent projects. Our teaching models, while diverse across our classrooms, privilege creativity and collaborative learning. These models resist routinized and conformist thinking in the service of critical inquiry, innovation, and dynamic synergy and engagement. All of our courses take place in a seminar-style classroom with hands-on attention from our outstanding faculty.

Our faculty is invested in supporting and guiding our students’ learning activities based on their individual career goals. Students have freedom when choosing individual projects according to their personal interest areas and paving their own path to accomplish specific career goals. On top of classroom experiences, a variety of internship opportunities are offered for those who want to strengthen their career in a chosen field. Students who are interested in a career in academia have opportunities for teaching and research closely working with faculty members.

What Drew Professor Yoon to the Discipline?

My research interests lie in collaborative processes in work teams. I’m interested in examining the ways in which work teams recognize and use their members’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in team collaborations. While teams collectively possess more cognitive abilities than any single individual alone, team performances often do not reach their full potential. In my research, I examine cognitive, communicative, and social mechanisms that enhance or hinder knowledge sharing processes in work teams and the subsequent impact on team performance as well as the socio-emotional experiences of team members. I was drawn to this area because collaborating with others is inherent part of our professional and personal lives and a critical element for success at the individual, group, and organizational levels.

Why Do You Teach at DePaul?

I was attracted to DePaul University for two reasons: Commitment to diversity and outstanding faculty. DePaul not only embraces, but also seeks out diversity in all aspects of institutional endeavors ranging from curriculum development, student and faculty recruitment and support, to social justice. These efforts hold diversity as something to celebrate rather than an obstacle to deal with. Also, I am privileged to a part of outstanding faculty of (inter)nationally recognized teachers and researchers. They are truly dedicated to students’ learning, constantly bringing their expertise to the classroom with state-of-the-art and innovative materials and pedagogies. 

What Makes Chicago a Special City to You?

We’re lucky to be situated in this great city! DePaul has been very active in using the city as an extension of the classroom by engaging the students in what the city offers us. A variety of internship opportunities in the vibrant economy, diverse cultural, educational, and political events, and exposure to diverse populations are tremendously valuable resources for the students and faculty alike.​